An 18-inch blanket of snow surrounds my house and it is far too early to put the winter clothes into storage. Yet, the birds are singing every morning, the days are longer, and grocery store conversation has turned to spring. Springtime...a time of delight for the human spirit!
We all smile at the familiar words of scripture:
For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing is come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in the land.
This is a good time to invite family members and friends to name the delights of spring: Earthworms, daffodils, mud. Rainboots, hopscotch, baseball. Invite people to name large things and small, whimsical and serious, personal and communal. Create a family or congregational ritual to celebrate and give thanks for all that is wonderful about the rebirth of spring. Take time to remind each other of the spiritual lesson of spring—that rebirth and renewal follow even the more difficult winters.
What words would you use for the experience of spring where you live? What words would your children and families contribute? You might even gather ideas for a litany to share with your congregation. Here’s a sample:
For daffodils peeking through melting snow For trees that are stirring above and below For spring jackets, bicycles, jump ropes and skates, For rabbits and earthworms and baseball’s first day, Alleluia, Huzzah, and Hip Hip Hooray!
However you choose, pause and notice. And have fun noticing and sharing with those you love! Rejoice with all the creatures of earth as spring once again comes to the northern hemisphere. Alleluia, Huzzah, and Hip Hip Hooray!
The early springtime is sacred in the Christian calendar as well, where Lent is a time for spiritual preparation in the period before Easter. Unitarian Universalists Mr. Barb Greve and Karen Bellavance-Grace have teamed up to offer a daily Lenten spiritual practice which invites all of us to contribute a photo each day after pausing and reflecting on a particular spiritual idea, such as connection or hope. Visit the project on Tumblr. You need not have a Tumblr account to view and/or contribute photos.
Families, individuals, and small groups of all kinds (including covenant groups, youth groups, junior youth groups, and children’s RE groups) may like to observe the Lenten season and the coming of spring as part of this online community.